A middle aged man was jailed for four years earlier this week after travelling from Hertfordshire to Leicester, where he was expecting to rape and sexually abuse an 11-year-old girl and her eight-year-old brother.
John O’Shea, 51, was caught in a police sting operation when he arrived at a Burger King restaurant at the end of an 85 mile journey, St Albans crown court was told.
O’Shea, from Shenley, near St Albans, thought he had been talking over the Internet to the children’s mother who was called Emma, but in fact ‘she’ was an undercover officer.
Prosecution Satya Chotalia said O’Shea, who had his head in his hands in the dock for part of the hearing, was arrested on November 16 last year at the restaurant at the Meridian retail park.
Mr Chotalia said: “He accepted speaking to Emma on Chatstep. He accepted he was seeking children to have sex with. Over seven to 10 days he had communicated with her by text, had given her his mobile number and sent her a picture of himself.
“Within the messages he said he wanted to have sexual activity with both children. He said he knew it was wrong and illegal.”
He set out what he wanted to happen in graphic and explicit texts.
When the police examined his mobile phone they also found indecent images of children. There were 10 Category A images and 1 Category movie – the most serious level. In addition there were 60 Category B images one video and 11 Category C images, the least serious level.
O’Shea admitted two offences of arranging to meet a child under 13 for the commission of a child sex offence. He pleaded guilty to three charges of making (downloading) indecent images of children.
Defending, Andel Singh said O’Shea had given full and frank admissions to the police and had never been in trouble before.
Mr Singh said: “He knows he brought it upon himself and does not want to blame anyone else. He wants help while in the prison system. It is something he is keen to do and he is keen to understand it, so the behaviour is never repeated. ”
O’Shea has lost his job and his partner of 30 years who wants little to do with him, he said.
In addition to jailing him, Recorder Amanda Tipples QC said he must abide by the terms of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and register as a sex offender indefinitely.